Beekeeping

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Queen replacement
-supersedure
-swarming
-emergency queen rearing
-commercial queen rearing
Supersedure
failing queen replaced
-rear "few" cells
-cells on "face" of brood
-Summer into Fall
Swarming
colony unit reproduced
-Brood to adult population size and room
-amount and distribution of queen substance
-hive environment (time and space)
Supercedure and swarming
-stimuli mediated
-unique in social insects
-planned (not random behavior)
-frequently aborted
Supersedure and swarming challenge a beekeeper to:
-recognize (bee sounds)
-modify
Queen rearing
-too little queen substance
-queen lays a fertilized egg in queen cups
(often more than a single cup)
-frequently aborted
Efficient queen rearing
-mother-daughter coexist
Inefficient queen rearing
-brood cycle break
-old mated queen killed before virgin queen emerges
Bivouac
-temporary cluster without cover
Leading up to swarming
-too little queen substance
-queen lays fertilized eggs in several queen cups
-colony rears replacement queen
-queen reduces egg laying/loses weight
-workers reduce activity/increase honey stomach contents
-colony swarm issues/primary swarm with original queen
Colony social life reproduction
(swarming)
-emerge 10 am-2pm on a good day
-whirring dance procedes (queen piping too)
-division random but more older bees
-75% of bees leave parent hive
-cluster nearby (minutes to days)
-scouts find new home (dance on cluster)
-move en masse to new home
Seasonality of swarming
April-June
The queen
-3 to 16 days old first flights for orientation
-Older than 21 days takes nuptial flight
Drone layer
-produces only unfertilized male eggs
(if queen not inseminated queen has to be replaced)
Why rear queens?
-requeen colonies with failing queens
-make additional colonies
-improve stock
Keys to making good queens
-rearing: queen must receive large amounts of quality feed as a larva
-selection: graft from queens heading colonies with desirable traits
-mating: mate reared virgins with drones that are offspring of queens heading colonies with desirable traits
Queen rearing methods
-natural
-controlled
Conditions of natural queen rearing
-queenlessness
-supersedure
-swarming
Advantages of using swarm cells
-good quality queens result
-available during peak splitting times
Disadvantages of using swarm cells
-seasonal
-occasionally difficult to cut ripe cells
-unfavorable genetics produce a tendency to swarming
Small scale using emergency conditions
-select best colonies
-raise young brood of selected colony w/pollen and honey
-place screened bottom board (or cloake board) between colony below and raised brood
-open an entrance into top box
-9 days later examine raised brood frame for capped for capped queen cells- you can cull some cells
-if more than one new queen desired separate capped cells before a virgin queen emerges and destroys rivals (allow new queen to mate)
Grafting method
doolittle
Graftless cell methods
-miller method
-Alley method
-Cell punch
-Jenter method
Doolittle (grafting) method
-obtain larva
-queen rearing equipment/queen rearing colony setup
-graft larva
-introduce into queen rearing colony
-handling queen cells
-caging queens
Breeder Colony
your colony to supply the young larvae for grafting- your selected stock
Starter Colony
queenless portion of colony or a dosed colony made up with high population of young- aged nurse bees (also termed cell builder colony)
Cell builder colonies or starter colony
-strong queenless colony or
-swarm box (queenless confined box) or
-queenless box above queenright colony
Grafting
transfer of suitable aged larvae into queen cups (plastic or beeswax)
Grafting setup
-queen cups (plastic or natural beeswax)
-grafting tool
-magnifier w/light
-modified frame to hold cups vertical
-queen cages
-capped cell protectors
Finishing colony
One day after grafting the takes can be transferred to this type of colony
Miller method
-strips of foundation are cut and placed in frame
-frame introduced into well-feed, queen-right colony
-after foundation has been drawn and contains brood, remove frame and cut comb to expose very young larvae
-insert into queenless colony
-row of queen cells will result (remove and introduce into appropriate hives)
Alley method
-new comb placed into colony
-four days later it is removed
-strips containing larvae are cut out
-cell walls are cut down to 2/3rds and 2 out of 3 larvae are removed
-strips are attached to bottom of comb (upside down) and placed into queenless colony
Advantages of miller and alley methods
-easy
-appropriate for small scale
Disadvantages of miller and alley methods
-few queens reared
Mating nucs small becuase:
-reduced risk if the queen does not emerge from her cell, is deformed or is lost on her mating flight
-small colony inspection more rapid
-less resource investment and apiary space
-easier to evaluate newly mated queen
-small queenless nucleus colony accept ripe cells more readily than large colony
3 days post mating
39% of queens laying eggs
Drone flight
-start to fly 9 to 18 days old
-2 and 4 pm
-approximately 30 minutes
-fly out numerous times in the afternoon
-return hive for 15 minutes to feed, then fly again
-weather dependent
Drone Congregation Areas
-areas where drones from many hive (2 to 3 mile radius) group and fly around at high speeds
-same area is used year after year
-15 to 25 meters above ground
-males rarely mate outside of area
Drones attracted by queen substance
Mandibular pheromone
9-oxodec-2 decenoic acid
Number of matings
-queen mates on avg. of 16 times
Number of flights
-drone density and weather dependent
20*C, wind speed <20-28 km/hr, good weather
Spring average number of drones per colony
2,400
Fall average number of drones per colony
550
Some control of mating
achieved with drone saturation
Near complete mating control
isolated mating yards
Complete mating control
insemination
Key to all mating
High drone population
Open mating drone saturation
-some control
-Often the only practical alternative
-place numerous drone source colonies within a 2-mile radius of mating nucs
Isolated Mating
-establish yard where no bees are naturally found
(islands, extensive prairies, deserts, high elevations)
How to check isolated areas
Place virgin queens in drone free mating nuc, and see if they mate
Island Yards
-should be at least three miles away from land
-ensure sufficient food source
-ensure no stray drones
-allow no swarms
-feed if necessary to ensure strong colonies
Isolated areas
-absence of feral bees indicates that area cannot support bees without assistance
-hives require active management to ensure drone production
Mating Yards
-consist of drone colonies and mating nucs
-dozens of drone colonies
-hundreds of mating nucs
-ensure many flight cues
-ensure irregular placement of nucs and various entrance orientations
Mating nucs
-small colony (5 frames)
-allows easy and quick locations of queens
-high maintenance required (ensure not plugged with honey)
Poor mating- problem shooting
-few mating nucs contain queens
(poor cell viability and poor acceptance of queens)
-queens fail to lay eggs
(poor weather, few drones)
-cells not opened in characteristic way
(cells may have died in transport)
Poor queen acceptance
-damaged queens
-release method too quick
-queen predation
-poor apiary layout
Queen predation
-big and fly slowly
-make easy prey for certain birds
(purple martins, fly catchers, dragonflies)
Texas Apiary Inspection service established in
1910
-foulbrood suppression legislation
First chief foul brood inspector
1920
-housed at Texas A&M
TX Apiary Inspection service operates under the authority
Agriculture code title 6
Chapter 131: Bees and honey
Law 131.021
Powers and duties of chief apiary inspector
The major duties of Agriculture code title 6
-necessary control, eradicate, or prevent
-prohibit shipment
-seize and order the destruction (AFB)
Chief Apiary Inspector
Mark Dykes
In an emergency inspection
10% (up to 100 hives) will be inspected
50% (up to 5 sites) apiary sites inspected
Import Permit
$100
Export Permit
$75
Intrastate Permit
$35
Queen Certification Permit
$300
Bee Brand Registration (numeric brand)
$10
How is a beekeeper identified in TX?
Bee Brand Registration (identification required)
Inspection service first started to:
combat AFB
Tracheal
1984
Varroa
1987
Africanized
1990
CCD
2006
How many colonies are in the U.S.?
2 million
If 800,000 of acres of almonds need pollination, how many colonies are needed?
1,000,000
Bee Informed Partnership
Tech Transfer Teams
Collaborations with Reasearch
USDA National Survey
Pollinator Protection Plan
-Directive from EPA/USDA
-voluntary plan designed by each state
Declines of honey bees probably due to:
-parasites and disease
-pesticides +
-stress (2 hives/acre)
-available sources of nutrition for bees are poor
Foragers are ideally found:
within 2 miles of hive
Floral constancy by individuals
-better pollination for plant
-less search and handling time
nectar guides
way for bees to zone in on where the nectar is on the flower (UV)
Pollination syndromes
-Entophilous
-Anemophilous
-Mellitophilous
Mainenance
-mow open areas as little as possible
-retain weeds
-brush for native bees
-pesticide use (read labels)
Dynamic process to create bee friendly landscapes
-take notes
-replant winners/protect what is there
-modify as you go
-spacing, timing, and plant diversity
-maintain pollinator friendly landscape